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As warmer weather approaches, many begin to get the urge to do a bit of spring cleaning. While a thorough dusting and vacuuming is a good way to start, Darcie Orlowski of Clean In Between in Westbrook notes there are several areas that are sometimes forgotten.
"A spring cleaning should be a top-to-bottom deep cleaning," says Orlowski. "We actually recommend doing a spring and fall deep cleaning. These are tasks that we can do during a regular clean for our customers, or as a one-time request."
While Clean In Between offers spring cleaning, Orlowski shares some cleaning tips for those ready to tackle spring cleaning on their own. She recommends using microfiber cloths as they are not only useful for cleaning dust, spills, and grease, and soap scum in the tub, but also are washable and reusable, making them better for the environment than one-time-use products.
Dusting, Carpets, & Upholstery
• Remove all cobwebs, thoroughly dusting all areas from ceilings to floors.
• Dust and wash baseboards, moldings, doors, sills, all horizontal tops, pictures on walls, ceiling fans, light fixtures, heaters, etc.
• Move as much furniture as possible to clean underneath.
• Detail-vacuum all floors, corners, edges, under beds, couches, tables, etc.
• Vacuum upholstery.
• Steam-clean carpets, area rugs, and upholstery one to two times a year.
"So much dust, dirt, and dander from pets' fur gets trapped in the fibers and this is not healthy for breathing in, especially for people with allergies," says Orlowski. "We recommend having all your carpets, area rugs, and upholstery steam-cleaned one or two times a year because they get the most abuse from tracking in dirt, mud, and snow from the fall and winter months."
• Wash your windows, storms, screens, and sills in preparation to leaving them open for the warm spring air.
"The glass in windows takes a beating from all the wind, rain, and snow," says Orlowski. "Dirt gets trapped in the sash/sill of your window and mold starts to grow as the air gets warmer and the humidity rises."
• Use pumice stones in your toilets for hard water stains.
"It cleans the toilet, gets rid of the hard water stain, and doesn't scratch," says Orlowski.
• Strip all bedding and wash everything.
• Vacuum mattress on the top and sides with an upholstery tool.
• Sprinkle the mattress well with baking soda, slightly rubbing it in. Let sit for at least 10 minutes so it binds with surface moisture, then vacuum completely.
"Dead skin cells, dust mites, and even body sweat can wreak havoc on your expensive mattress," says Orlowski.
• Clean the fridge every two weeks by taking all the items off shelves and wiping them down.
• Every six months, go through the fridge and throw out expired condiments.
• Clean oven every three months if it is used often. Use the self-clean cycle or store-bought oven cleaner. "Grease from cooking spills over and builds up and if it's not cleaned, it could cause a fire," says Orlowski.
• Clean dishwasher once a month by removing the dishwasher filter and cleaning with hot water and mild soap. Replace the filters and then put a cup of vinegar in a bowl on the top rack of your dishwasher and run a normal cycle with no dishes and no soap. "The newer dishwashers are air-tight and they start to smell even after your dishes have been cleaned," says Orlowski. "Food from utensils and plates gets into your filter and trapped there. You will find the filter catches a lot of food that you didn't even know was there."
• Fill a microwave-safe bowl or cup with water and put it in the microwave for one to two minutes. Remove carefully and clean the inside of the microwave with a damp cloth. "The steam from the water softens up the hardened food, which makes for an easy cleanup," says Orlowski. "For a nice, fresh smell, add lemon to the water."
Genie Maids of Madison sponsors non-profits that provide free cleanings for women undergoing cancer treatments through Cleaning for a Reason (cleaningforareason.org) as well as free cleanings for veterans in need through Cleaning for Heroes (cleaningforheroes.org).
Jenn McCulloch is the Correspondent for Zip06. Email Jenn at .